One the key players in Dallas’ post-Byron Jones puzzle, Awuzie has played 86% of the team’s defensive snaps this season. He went down late in the Cowboys’ 40-39 win over the Falcons.
The Cowboys are down both Awuzie and slot cornerback Anthony Brown (also on IR) against a Seahawks offense that has been one of the league’s most explosive this season. Russell Wilson leads the league in touchdown passes (nine) and in passer rating through two games.
Dallas promoted cornerbacks Saivion Smith and Deante Burton from its practice squad, while also elevating tackle Eric Smith to its active roster. Awuzie cannot return to action until Week 6. He joins Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee, La’el Collins and Blake Jarwin as starters on the Cowboys’ IR list.
This is a key year for Awuzie, who joins Jourdan Lewis in being on track for free agency in 2021. A 2017 second-round pick, Awuzie has started 38 games in his career. The Cowboys were active this offseason in attempting to replace Jones, drafting Trevon Diggs in Round 2 and signing Daryl Worley. The team also brought back Brandon Carr just before the season.
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As recently as a few years ago, he would not have been eligible to do so. But the NFL has loosened the practice squad eligibility requirements, and in this COVID-19-altered landscape, more veterans are allowed on taxi squads. Carr will bring a preposterous 192 career starts to the Cowboys’ practice squad.
Carr, who started every game for Dallas from 2012-16, visited the Cowboys earlier this week. The Ravens made him a free agent by not picking up his 2020 option.
Teams are allowed to carry up to six veterans with unlimited experience onto their P-squads this year. Carr will obviously be the most experienced of Dallas’ practice squad players. Here are the rest of the players on that unit, as of Sunday afternoon:
A couple of minor moves to pass along as we head into the weekend:
- Signed: CB Saivion Smith
Los Angeles Chargers
- Signed: OT Storm Norton
Both players came from the XFL, which just announced earlier this morning that it was shutting down. Norton is getting a two-year deal from Los Angeles, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Smith left Alabama early last season, but went undrafted. He signed with Jacksonville as an UDFA, but was released at final cuts. He played for the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL. Norton is a 2017 UDFA from Toledo who has spent time on the practice squads of the Lions, Cardinals, and Vikings. He played with the Los Angeles Wildcats in the XFL.
Here are today’s workout updates. There are a number of notable names on this list, so pay attention!
- LB Shane Ray
- DE Fadol Brown, S Demetrious Cox, DE Dewayne Hendrix, S A.J. Howard (signed to practice squad), DB C.J. Reavis
- DE Alex Barrett, RB Senorise Perry (signed to 53-man roster), LB Wyatt Ray (signed to practice squad)
- WR Jeff Badet
Green Bay Packers
- TE Rico Gathers, DL Mike Pennel, DL Adolphus Washington, TE Cole Wick, DT Sylvester Williams, TE Ethan Wolf (signed to practice squad)
- DT Carl Davis, LB Obum Gwacham, DE Eli Harold, DL Joel Heath, DL Damontre Moore, LB Pita Taumoepenu, DL Ethan Westbrooks
Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- OL Malcolm Bunche (signed to practice squad), LB Darrell Williams
Here’s a look at the latest workouts from around the NFL:
The Jaguars got down to 53. Here’s how:
Waived or released:
OL Ka’John Armstrong
WR Tyre Brady
TE Donnie Ernsberger
CB Tae Hayes
WR Quadree Henderson
RB Elijah Hood
DL Mike Hughes
DL Lyndon Johnson
TE Charles Jones
WR Raphael Leonard
WR Tre McBride
QB Alex McGough
CB Quenton Meeks
TE Carson Meier
S Joshua Moon
CB Picasso Nelson
S C.J. Reavis
CB Saivion Smith
OL Bunchy Stallings
LB Connor Strachan
DL Kalani Vakameilalo
WR Michael Walker
CB Brandon Watson
DL Andrew Williams
TE Ethan Wolf
Placed on IR:
LB Jake Ryan
The Jaguars are making some early moves towards making the 53-man max. On Friday morning, Jacksonville cut wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, defensive tackle Datone Jones, and former Alabama cornerback Saivion Smith, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
Pryor parlayed his huge season with the Browns a couple of years back into a one-year, $6MM free agent deal with the Redskins. Unfortunately, he was held back by an ankle injury and did little in D.C. He tried to regain his footing with the Jets and Bills last year, but injuries got the best of him once again. Then, he signed a veteran’s minimum contract with the Jaguars, but the former quarterback was unable to stay healthy and/or prove himself in practice.
Jones, 28, was selected by the Packers with the 26th overall pick of the 2013 draft, but he’s never been able to put it all together at the NFL level. In four seasons with Green Bay, Jones appeared in 60 games, but made only seven starts and never topped 600 snaps in any individual campaign. He joined the Jags in June and he finds himself seeking a new gig in late August.
The Jaguars have become the third NFL team — joining the Steelers and Chargers — to announced their crop of undrafted free agent signings following the conclusion of the 2019 draft. Jacksonville agreed to terms with the following 21 UDFAs:
- Shane Bowman, DL (Washington)
- Tyre Brady, WR (Marshall)
- Khairi Clark, DT (Florida)
- Michael Colubiale, WR (UCF)
- Joe Giles-Harris, LB (Duke)
- Donnell Greene, OL (Minnesota)
- Tae Hayes, DB (Appalachian State)
- Raphael Leonard, WR (Southern Illinois)
- Carson Meier, TE (Oklahoma)
- Picasso Nelson Jr., CB (Southern Mississippi)
- Jeff Smith, WR (Boston College)
- Saivion Smith, CB (Alabama)
- Dredrick Snelson Jr., WR (UCF)
- Bunchy Stallings, OL (Kentucky)
- Marquez Stanford, CB (Murray State)
- Connor Strachan, LB (Boston College)
- Michael Walker, WR (Boston College)
- Brandon Watson, CB (Michigan)
- Papi White, WR (Ohio)
- Andrew Williams, DT (Auburn)
- Andrew Wingard, S (Wyoming)
- Zedrick Woods, S (Ole Miss)
- Roderick Young, DT (North Texas)
Saivion Smith, in particular, is an interesting addition for the Jaguars, as he’d been mentioned as a possible third-round pick earlier this year. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com pegged Smith as a Round 4 or 5 selection, noting the Alabama product’s ability as a press-man corner but cautioning that he must improve his consistency. Simth could compete for snaps behind incumbent Jacksonville corners Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and D.J. Hayden.
Alabama safety Deionte Thompson has declared for the NFL draft and will forego his senior season with the Crimson Tide, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). It is really a no-brainer for Thompson, who is widely expected to be a first-round selection in the 2019 draft.
A consensus four-star recruit coming out of high school, Thompson had a breakout year in 2018, posting 78 tackles and picking up a pair of interceptions for the SEC powerhouse. At 6-2, 194 pounds, Thompson possesses excellent length and he has impressive speed for his size. He is a willing tackler in the running game, and he also has the range to cover receivers downfield.
The Panthers, Lions, Redskins, Cowboys, and Packers would be potential landing spots for Thompson. He did not have a great showing in last week’s CFB title game, but his overall body of work still makes him the best safety in the draft.
Meanwhile, Thompson’s teammate, Saivion Smith, has also declared for the draft, per Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com (via Twitter). Pauline has a third-round grade on Smith, who, like Thompson, has elected to skip his senior year of college. Smith is a 6-1, 200 pound corner who picked off three passes this year, including one pick-six.
Six Alabama underclassmen have now declared for the 2019 draft.
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